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Passage Thru India

On uselessness of happiness and peace, usefullness of methodology. And let's not forget beef with ginger and spring onion. And bidis!

I just got out of the airport in Kuala Lumpur and it was there – the Asian air. I LOVE that smell of Asia. Smells like home to me, really.

And so here I am in Kuala Lumpur again: the same city, the same hostel, the same room and even the same bed as exactly 10 months ago when I had a stop over here between Nepal and Australia.
The same place, the same dinner, again alone, 10 months later. Seemingly not too much has changed. But I have "gained" something in those 10 months: Irene. Apart from seeing Australia and Indonesia and improving my surfing, programming and dishwashing skills, I found that cool girl, and what more could I have hoped for? 
Too bad she's now not here...
So long southern hemisphere, it's been nice 10 months but I'm going back to the North. Winter is coming.

First things first. Right from the train station, with all my fucking heavy bags I ventures into Little India to buy me bidis. Yeah, real bidis! So long nasty tobacco, my darlingw are back in my arms. I bought 120 of them for 3 EUR. It was a mistake! I should have bought much more, because later I found out that I could have brought 400 cigarettes legally to Japan.

After bidis, check-in in to a hostel. After check-in, visit to my favorite Hindu temple just outside the hostel. Quick Shiva worship, and on we go to worship KL’s food. Ginger beef with spring onion. OH MY GOD, so good! I always eat this in KL. After food, late evening shopping for things I will need and which are so much cheaper in KL than in Slovakia. Jeans, shorts, Tiger Balm, some other stuff. Last Asian shopping. Sleep, wake up at 4:00, taxi to train station, train, airport and I’m off to Japan.

I’m sorry, but here’s another philosophic tractate: Passage Thru India.
At KL airport there is an Indian restaurant called “Passage Thru India”. When I saw its name, I realized that there could be no better short description of my journey than “Passage Thru India”. That’s exactly what it was. I did not move to India, or anywhere else, I passed thru India. With all the consequences. Absolute majority of the changes in me that have happened during the journey, happened while I was in India. It was personally very enriching era of my life.

Now, that I’m going home, many of you will be tempted to ask: “What have you found?”, or “Have you found what you’d been looking for?” or better yet: “So, have you found yourself?”. Find yourself? Can you lose yourself, so that later you can find yourself? I don’t know. But let me tell you straight away: I wasn’t looking for anything, so I could I find it? I left to be gone with the wind and see where it takes me. And some of you will ask: “Have you found happiness?”. This is greatest bullshit of them all. I tell you what I found out: You cannot find happiness. It’s a naive Hollywood-fed illusion, this “happiness”. There is no such thing as permanent happiness. “I graduate from school and find a new job, and then I will be happy”. Bullshit. “I will get promoted and earn a lot of money to spend and then I will be happy”. Bullshit. “I will find a spouse, get married and have children and then I will be happy”. BULLSHIT! Happiness lasts one second. Boom, and it’s gone. You don’t even have to wait till you get fired, till economy busts or your wife dumps you. The happiness will drift away by itself moment by moment. The concept of finding happiness it such a horrible lie, and yet we all want to believe it. I did. Life would be easier if there was promise of eternal redemption. But it doesn’t work like that. You have to work on your happiness. Every day, every hour. Seek joy, be creative, do what you like, be with people whom you like, be where you want to be. And accept if the situation differs. It’s hard work working on your happiness. That’s why some many people just give it up and drug themselves to TV-watching coma. It’s easier to shut everything off while watching a sitcom, American Idol or some idiotic reality show. So it goes with PC games, alcohol, drugs, workaholism, sex and all other addictions. When the work is hard, shut it all down.

My passage thru India was a real life altering journey. But as explained, I did not find happiness, as it cannot be found. I would love to say that I have found peace. But the notion of peace is the same as notion of happiness. Can be gone in a second. No, I cannot say I found peace either. At least not a permanent one. But this is what I found: knowledge and methodology. Unlike temporary state of minds - like peace and happiness, knowledge and methodology are permanent. They can prove to be wrong and need to be updated, changed or abandoned, but they have their permanent element. And this knowledge and methodology, mostly based on Hindu and Buddhist doctrines and books like Citadel and Steppenwolf, is something that will stay with me, and will help me in finding happiness, minute by minute, it will help me in working on my happiness and peace. Meditation, patience, non-attachment, acceptance, understanding of elements of human person (body, will, intellect, soul), doctrine of impermanence, un-satisfactoriness, and emptiness of all phenomena. This is my new methodology framework. Let’s see how it works for me in the “real life”.

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     MARCEL STRBAK | www.strbak.com | www.facebook.com/marcel.strbak